[82-86 Bedford Street, 4:10pm. Chumley's entrance at far left, 'neath the red netting.]
WEST VILLAGE—Details thin at this point, but here's the word from a tipster on the scene: "CHUMLEY'S WALL COLLAPSES!!!! FDNY and OTHERS on site!" The building that holds the legendary watering hole, at 82-86 Bedford Street, was recently wrapped in netting—always a good sign. Developing hard...
UPDATE 5:08PM: Turns out it was a chimney collapse inside Chumley's. Building most likely won't be coming down. More inside.
UPDATE 2:09PM: Our friends at The Little Owl call to report, "It looks like Chumley's is getting torn down by the fire department." Curbed/Eater operatives en route to scene...
UPDATE 2:16PM: A Curbed commenter noted back in February, "The facade of 86 Bedford is buckling and, according to the owner's architect, 'in danger of collapsing.' They made a proposal at Monday's CB 2 meeting to replace the facade, Chumley's owner showed up with a posse of Brooklyn lawyers to protest, claiming it was all a ruse to temporarily evacuate the building in order to put Chumley's out of business."
UPDATE 2:20PM: Report from Curbed/Eater operative live on scene: "Wall collapse confirmed. FDNY moving cars out of the way now—looks like they're preparing to take the building down. If that happens, Chumley's will be over."
UPDATE 2:40 PM: Emergency workers have shut down Bedford Street between Grove and Barrow completely.
UPDATE 3:15 PM: Con Ed emergency workers are now on the scene; hard hats being distributed; building under examination.
UPDATE 3:49 PM: Crews continue to work around the building. Various engineering-type initiatives are underway. Also, the FDNY has moved the fire line tape back, such that Little Owl is now in the no fly zone.
UPDATE 4:10 PM: A tipster sends along the photo that's now at the very top of this post. Bonus color: "Overheard a nearby resident say there was a spring-fed stream that runs under the building and has eroded some of the original log base timbers that form part of the foundation."
UPDATE 4:17 PM: More color, from a special Eater correspondent: "The owner of the chumleys bldg is margaret streicker-porres. She's one of the village voices 'nyc's worst landlords.' Google her. She's a piece of work. She's been shopping this building to every restaurateur in town the past few months."
UPDATE 4:33 PM: Word from a FDNY press-conference-type-thing: a 10x12 wall inside Chumley's collapsed earlier this afternoon. The buildings department as well as FDNY and OEM are on the scene and determining if the building has to come down. Latest report is that there is "a small chance" they'll have to tear the building down.
UPDATE 5:08PM: Official word from the Dept. of Buildings: "Earlier today, Buildings inspectors and engineers were called to assess structural damage to the building at 86 Bedford Street in Manhattan. The chimney at 86 Bedford Street separated from the interior wall and collapsed into the bar area. There were no injuries. Two buildings have been temporarily vacated pending the completion of the
shoring work. The Red Cross is assisting with relocating the tenants. Buildings engineers have determined the building is not in danger of collapse. Demolition of the building is not being considered at this time. Buildings is working with the building owner and shoring company to stabilize the collapsed area. The building owner had been issued a permit to remove and replace the landmarked façade. The building owner had submitted an application to the Buildings Department to conduct construction work on the interior of the building. The Buildings Department has not issued a permit for that application. The Buildings Department is issuing three violations for working without a permit and unsafe construction practices."